Obstruct Obstruction

by Don Boudreaux on December 16, 2010

in Inventive intervention, Politics, Seen and Unseen

Here’s a letter to the Boston Globe:

Reporting on a new effort to curb the Senate filibuster, Joshua Green applauds this attempt “to limit the chronic power to obstruct” (“Dismantling the filibuster,” Dec. 16).  I’m skeptical of reducing obstructions to the operation of an institution – the U.S. Congress – that, more often than not, is itself in the business of obstruction.

Some examples: minimum-wage legislation obstructs low-skill workers’ access to jobs; high taxes obstruct the decision-making of consumers, workers, and investors; Obamacare obstructs people’s freedom to keep uninvited strangers from meddling in their medical care; tariffs obstruct consumers’ freedom to get the most for their money, as well as obstruct American producers’ access to foreign markets and to foreign capital; the ‘stimulus’ and bailouts and government backing of GSEs such as Fannie and Freddie obstruct the market’s ability to reallocate resources away from economically inappropriate uses and into economically appropriate uses.

These obstructions are only the tip of a very deep and jagged iceberg.

While not without its costs, the filibuster at least slows the pace at which these obstructions pile up.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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